Last night was a “sad night”, Stephen Colbert said, when FCC voted to repeal net neutrality rules.
If you’re uncertain about what these means for Americans and broadband companies alike, listen up. With the repeal of net neutrality, there is no regulation on broadband companies for blocking certain websites from the public and making certain chosen material inaccessible to the common population. These same companies can create internet speeds so slow you’ll wish you had dial-up.
Since it will take weeks for these changes to go into effect, you won’t see the difference immediately. In addition, many people (mostly Democrats in Congress) are trying to put a bill through to reestablish the rules.
If you’ve seen the comedy movie The Interview, starring Seth Rogan and James Franco, you might be somewhat familiar with what repealing net neutrality could look like for the United States. (This is somewhat sarcastic and reaching, but if you know what I mean, you’ll get the point.) In the film, the two main characters travel to North Korea for a top-secret FBI mission when they begin to notice that the dictator of the country, Kim Jong Un, is creating a facade of what the country is actually like. There are fake storefronts to make the country look like a normal place if it happened to be recorded.
Another weird concept that many people don’t understand is that China already doesn’t have net neutrality. Twitter, Facebook, Google, and even Wikipedia are all blocked in China. Looking up specific political events and ideas are also outlawed, such as searching “police brutality” or “Tiananmen Square protests of 1989“.
Republican commissioner Brendan Carr says that this isn’t an “apocalyptic” scenario, but I beg to differ. I read 1984 by George Orwell. I know about Big Brother.
Twitter has been going crazy with the #RESIST and #NetNeutrality hashtags for the last couple of weeks.
Netflix, like a lot of streaming services, was not happy with the outcome of the vote and hope to work with people in Washington to reestablish the rules.
Internet providers, without net neutrality, are allowed to make access to the internet as slow or as fast as they want in order to have more people paying premium amounts for the same access they would get if there was actual regulation on these horrible abilities.
(If you think your internet is slow now, imagine how slow it’s going to be when companies can keep streams slow enough that you don’t even want to watch Netflix anymore because it’s more of a hassle than a relaxation device.)
If you watched Disney Channel growing up, you might remember Cole Sprouse as the nerdiest kid on television as Cody Martin in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. He’s spent the last week or so urging people to vote out against repealing net neutrality and talking to their respective state officials.
You might have thought that Cody Martin was annoying, overbearing, and simply never wanted to let his brother Zack have fun, but this time it seems like Cody Martin is coming to the rescue and is trying to get people to help themselves and save the internet.
Here’s a list of websites that could become blocked by your internet provider at your house, or even on Graceland’s campus (and if they’re not blocked, they could potentially take hours to load just like it would have if you had dial-up internet):
- MyGraceland and Brightspace (holy crap, will we have to turn in assignments by hand again and kill even more trees?)
- Every single online game ever (that includes Runescape, you guys)
- A trillion more
If you don’t mind paying $$$$$$$, then you don’t have to worry. But if you went to college, especially a private college in rural Iowa, you’re probably not leaving without a little bit of debt, and I’m betting you don’t want to shovel out paycheck after paycheck just to check your Twitter mentions.
Agree with me? Cool. Call your representatives, text RESIST to the coolest, hippest text-bot (50409) and have them formulate a message to reps for you, or stay up to date with the info on the topic and keep reading.
Don’t agree? We at the Tower love hearing people’s opinions even if they don’t agree with us. College is about creating an open dialogue, so hit us up and let us know what you think!